Monday, March 11, 2013
Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City - Part 1 of 2 - 2/14/2013
As a surprise on Valentines Day, I took Sigrid to the Toy and Miniature Museum in Kansas City. We had talked about going for two years but never got around to it. I have to admit that I wasn't expecting much. Sigrid was unaware of where we were going until we pulled into the parking lot. Man was she excited....I did good this year.
The Museum is on the campus of the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC). Mary Harris Francis and Barbara Marshall were both collectors who were encouraged by friends and family to merge their private collections and create the museum. Francis specialized in dollhouses while Marshall enjoyed the fine scale miniatures. The museum opened in 1982 and has expended to 33,000 square feet of exhibit space. The museum building is built around what was once a private home known as the "Tureman Mansion". Additional exhibit space has been added over the years to house the huge collection.
Thanks to a recent decision to allow non-flash photography, I was able to take some pictures for the blog. I have to admit that I was fascinated by the museum once I was inside and could see that it was very professionally done and just full of amazing pieces. As is often the case, I had no tripod and used available light for the photos. The displays were great for people but really tough for the camera. Lighting is often dim, which is not unusual in a museum. Bright lights would fade the colors of the displayed items over time. The thing that was difficult to deal with was the reflections in the glass cases. There was no way to maneuver to avoid the reflections. I wish I could have had a black curtain behind me to block the reflections from other cases. The museum is a target rich environment for a photographer but it is tough to take really good photos. I am not too happy with most of mine but I am going to throw them up on the blog anyway.
There were so many amazing things to photo that I couldn't bear to whittled them down to just one post. That is why there are Part 1 and Part 2 posts. The first post deals with mostly the dollhouses, toys, and marble collection while the second post has more of the miniature items.
The blog photos are small and you could miss some of the wonderful details if you don't enlarge them. You can do that easily by just clicking on the body of the photo and then close the photo window by click on the "X" on the upper right corner of the screen to return to the blog. Other browser might require a different technique to return.
You can see the vestiges of the old house with this fine stair case.
Sigrid loved the old toys and doll houses. Many of them are from Germany which is Sigrid's place of birth so they had a special meaning to her.
I love marbles and collected them as a kid. I also remember shooting marbles with the neighborhood guys down in the dirt. I was pretty good and won some nice marbles for my collection.
Part 2 is next. You can go there by clicking on the "Newer Post" link below. In the Archive List on the left side of the posts, Part 2 is above Part 1 due to the way posts stack on each other.